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ERIC Number: ED526704
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 204
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-2583-4
Exploring Students' Experiences with the California High School Exit Examination February 2006 to May 2007
Vang, Mao Justice
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of California, Davis
The California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) is a graduation requirement that includes passing a two part exam: English-language arts (ELA) and mathematics. Students take the exam for the first time in 10th grade. In 2005-06, the passing rates were about 77% for ELA and 75% for math. This study uses student level data to focus on the 476,948 students who took the ELA and 477,556 students who took the math during 10th grade in 2005-06. The students responded to a questionnaire after taking each portion of the exam. Their perceptions and attitudes regarding the importance of the test, graduation expectations, and post-high school plans were analyzed using descriptive statistical analysis. For the students who had not passed, their 10th grade responses were compared to their first retake in 2006-07 to identify changes in perceptions and attitudes. The major findings showed that in 10th grade, about 96% of the students perceived the CAHSEE to be important. Over 83% of the students reported that they did well on the test. The main reasons they did not do well were too nervous, did not remember, and not motivated. About 84% of the students expected to graduate from high school. One-third of the students reported that the main reason they may not graduate was not pass the CAHSEE. Over 70% of the students planned to attend college; 5% join the military; 4% attend vocational, technical, or trade school; and 4% work full-time. About 88% of the students were sure about their post-high school plans. During the first retake, fewer than 30% of the students passed. Although most students' perceptions and attitudes remained positive, American Indian, African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Pacific Islander students and those with a disadvantage were most negatively affected by the CAHSEE policy. Furthermore, English learners and students with disabilities expressed lack of motivation, doubts about graduating from high school, and uncertainty of their post-high school plans. The findings of this study respond to the established need for ongoing research to monitor the impact of high-stakes testing on students who are low-achievers and students with disadvantages. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 10; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California